June 3, 2020:

Popular narratives of depression are highly patterned. I was like this, then I fell apart, then I tried this and those, now I'm like this. Whether self-consciously or not they mirror the ancient mythological structure of descent-hell-return. Styron (1992), Manning (1995), Danquah (1998), Solomon (2001), Brampton (2008), Merkin (2017), Park (2017) all do this. These are wonderful books but after nearly thirty years of repetition the form is stale.

The pieces I've collected here originate in a different mode. I mostly write vignettes. They can be fictional, autobiographical, subjective or objective, poetic or mundane, "about" someone or no-one. They can be multiple "orders" of narrative, such as essays, in addition to fiction and so on. Individually the goal is to imply a larger canvas than there actually is. As a collection my purpose is to suggest a three dimensional space while working in a one dimensional medium. There's no reason for instance why time always has to move forward from page to page. You can look at things from multiple directions.

Part One is subjective, narrating states perceived from within a depressed emotional point of view. They're "how it feels when things suck". Part Two is objective, including essays and autobiographical contexts. Part Three is a conventional confessional narrative which ties the others together as their "field".

I do not offer this writing as an attempt to alleviate the suffering of others. My purpose is photographic. This is two galleries of snapshots plus one short movie, illustrating, This is what it is. I offer no therapeutic advice and we do not arrive at a happy ending. If you experience frequent or severe depressions my one suggestion to you is to get help. It's not a condition that can be managed by willpower.